Beerded Ladies

water + hops + malt + yeast + blog

This website is devoted to craft beer reviews, sudsy events, brewery tourism, stunning beertography, bad puns, offbeat beer pairings, dispatches from behind the bar and general beverage snobbery where we can apply terms like "biscuity" and talk about hop profiles.

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Filtering by Tag: Craft Beer

Twas the Night Before Christmas Beer

The poem 'Twas the night before Christmas Beer' will redefine your image of the Christmas Beer. Prior to the creation of this poem, Christmas Beer's history was not widely known because it was always told in a way that was boring. Now you can bring your family of beer lovers together round the fireplace with your favorite holiday brew and enjoy a new Christmas Classic;  the story of the Christmas Beer.



Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
There was beer that was brewing, with spices and malts

The recipe goes back, long before you and I
And it does not begin with the Belgians (no lie!)

Twas the Norse who invented this spirit with cheer
To be brewed in all homes for this time of year
Twas against the law not to, so brew it they would
Every house, every year, for King Haakon the Good

The tradition continued, from the 900's on
A beer brewed for Christmas; it was usually strong
And time it did pass, and tradition it grew
The style it did vary, and the name it did too

On Juleøl and Julebryg and Bières de Noël
Winter warmers too, let's include them as well

Though they are brewed (mostly) as English Strong Ales
Speaking of which, I must tell a tale...

When Christmas Beer made it to England for brewin'
Like most things eventually, the English did ruin
Did you know good beer lovers, that Stella Artois
Was originally brewed as a Christmas Beer?! Whaaa???

But back to the poem, for the story goes on
In America! Where Christmas tradition is strong,
Craft Beer giant Anchor, of the known Anchor Steam
Were the first to brew beer, with this joyous theme

The first year it was brewed was in '75
Go see all the labels, on their website, archived
Since that first year of brewing and ever year after

They form a new recipe, true Christmas Beer crafters

Now Rogue and Full Sail and more brew this ale
And in most beer shops, you can find it for sale
They're spiced or non spiced, they're dark or they're light
Most are still quite strong, so plan out your night!

"I don't celebrate Christmas, for I am a Jew."
Well don't worry, they brew beers for Hanukkah too!
Or there's Festivus beers, most everyone's set!
Though sadly there are no Kwanzaa beers, (yet...)

And thus is the story of the famed Christmas Beer
I hope it informed you and brought joy to your ears
But now I must go, into bed I must sink
Merry Christmas to all! (I've had too much to drink.)



Beer Soaked Thanksgiving


Forget Draft Magazine's recommendation for a "Beer Infused" Thanksgiving that - except for the cranberry sauce - calls for mere drops of beer in dressings or glazes. 

This will not do. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate overabundance. One cousin invited over does not a family gathering make in the same way that 1 TBSP of beer in a recipe does not make it a "beer dish." No. This is the time to be with as many of the ones you love and consume as much the things that you love.

And you love beer. 

Below are my top five Thanksgiving Beer Soaked recipes that fully incorporate all the important parts of a Thanksgiving meal and the beer. I encourage everyone to branch out and beer soak your Thanksgiving favorites!



In case you didn't know, alcohol is a natural tenderizer. I didn't know either until I found this great recipe from The Beeroness. In addition to this, the wonderful rich flavors of a delicious brown ale will bring out and highlight all the rich turkey flavor that everyone is looking forward to.

Beer: Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, or any malty, NUTTY brown ale. Stay away from brown ales with vanilla and cinamon.


Tips: Remember, this a potentially a multiple day process if you have frozen turkey. You will need roughly 8 hours to thaw (30mins/1lb of turkey when submerged in cold water)  PLUS 16-18 hours for the Brine. So you know, buy a lot of BEER to drink while you wait.


This one comes from Billy Broas at BillyBrew, though the original recipe comes from The Homebrew Chef.  But, since Billy put together a nice little video to show you EXACTLY how to boil potatoes and mash them, we'll cut him some slack.

Beer: Green Flash West Coast IPA, Anderson Valley Hop Ottin IPA, or any IPA with primarily earthy hops like Columbus/Tomohawk hops. Stay away from citrus and floral hops. Not up on your hop identification via taste? Here's help!


Tips: Don't listen to Billy on one count: use the FULL cup of butter as well as the heavy whipping cream. Also, I'm not sure how Billy ended up with a ridiculously large boiling pot and no potato peeler, but he's a dude(?).



I found this one through but the original is from A Spicy Perspective; they view the world through Siracha colored glasses.

Also, there's bacon.

Beer: Pyramind Thunderhead IPA, Green Flash West Coast IPA, or another Columbus hopped IPA. 


Tips: Craft Beer was vague when listing the beer to use for this recipe called for "something light and crisp". Really Did a customer at the bar I work at type up this recipe for you? (Bartender jokes!)

I say marry your mashed and brussels and use that same earthy IPA for both dishes.



Coming to you from the amazing Brooklyn Brew Shop, this recipe is speaks directly to my definition of what true stuffing should be (plus beer.)

Beer: Chestnut Brown Ale. Unless, of course, you didn't buy the kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop and spend the last few months home brewing the specific beer that this recipe calls for. In case you didn't do that, use the same nutty brown ale that you used for your turkey brine.


Tips: I would also add to the mix

  • 1 package of breakfast sausage, cooked and diced
  • All of the boiled and diced turkey innards that should come in a nice little package when you get your turkey or that you kept and froze when you butchered your turkey.


birch 1.jpg

This is MY recipe and I stand by my pie.

Beer: Allagash Curieux or a bourbon barrel aged ale (for sweeter pie) or Peekskill Simple Sour or similar a dry Sour (for a pie that's more tart).


For (9 1/2) 2 crust pie:

  • 2 1/3 C Flour
  • 1 C butter
  • 3/4 TSP table salt
  • 1/2 TSP baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TBSP cold water

For Pie Filling:

  • 7-8 "Crisp" Apples (Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, get a mix of anything that snaps when you bite a chunk out of it)
  • 3-4 C's of cold Beer
  • 1/2 TSP Cinnamon
  • 1/8 TSP Ground Clove
  • 1/8 TSP Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 C Brown sugar (for sweater pie) or White sugar (for pie that's more tart!)
  • 3 TBSP flour


Wash your apples and get a bowl ready with 2 cups of your beer. You will be peeling/slicing your apples and dropping these apple slices into your bowl of beer to soak. The size of your apple slices should be consistent and no more than a 1/2 inch at the widest point. When your apples slices start filling the bowl, add more beer to cover your apples as needed. Once all your apples are submerged in your bowl of beer, place this bowl in the fridge while you prepare your pie crust. 

If you have yourself a store bought crust, no worries. Enjoy the rest of the beer and let your apples soak for about 30 minutes. If not...

Crust time! 

birch 2.jpg

Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl, and cube your butter which shouldn't be rock hard. (Take it out of the fridge a few minutes before you start. Your finger should leave a slight imprint when you press the butter.) Once cubed, cut the butter into the flour using whatever method you like best. I prefer two dinner knives, working the mixture until the particles have a coarse, mealy texture similar to that of fresh bread crumbs with some larger pea-size pieces.

Once this is ready, quickly whisk together the egg and cold water in a small bowl. Once mixed, drizzle 1 TBS of the water/egg mix around the edge of the bowl, letting it trickle into the crumbs. Flick the moistened crumbs toward the center with a table fork, rotating the bowl as you work. Repeat with the remaining mix adding 1 TBS at a time. As you add the mix, the crums should begin to form larger clusters. Once you've added whole mix, take a handful of crumbs and squeeze them gently; they should hold together. If they easily break apart, the mixture needs more water, so slowly add more cold water, a 1/2 TBS at a time, checking the consistency after each addition. 

Gather a handful of the crumbly dough and press it against the side of the bowl to form a small mass, flouring your hand as needed to prevent excessive sticking. Increase the size of this mass by pressing it into more of the crumbly mixture until you've used up about half of the total mixture in the bowl. Make a second mass of dough with the remaining crumbs. If some of the crumbs on the bottom of the bowl need more moistening, add a few drops of water. Form the two masses of dough into balls.

Preheat your oven to 400°F

Roll out the first crust portion on floured surface and allow for about 1 inch of overhang. Place the first crust and in your pie pan. Roll out second crust and have it ready to top your pie. 

Remove apples from the fridge and drain the soaked apples. Save the beer to drink and  to brush on your crust. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg in a small bowl. Stir this mix into your apples. Stir in the flour last. Lovingly pour this apple mix into your pie crusted pie pan. Take your second crust and top your pie, folding up the crust around the edges. Cut a few slits in the top, maybe make a cool design like a turkey or a pint glass. 

Put your pie in the oven and bake  for 30 mins at 400°F. Then lower the temp to 375°F and bake for another 30-40 mins until the top and bottom crusts are golden brown and the juices are bubbling. 

Once it's done, remove from the oven Once your pie is out of the oven, and LIGHTLY brush it with your apple infused Beer. Cool the pie at least 3 hours and up to overnight before serving.

Tips : I always put a cookie sheet either underneath my pie pan or on the shelf below. The juice from the pie tends to bubble over and can make your oven messy/start a fire after years of baking pies and making messes and not cleaning them up.

Obviously, get a delicious Vanilla Ice Cream to accompany this pie. Obviously.


Beer tasting isn't bullshit. Here's why in two parts.

Part I: Distinguishing Tastes


When I was a little girl, and I asked my father, "What does beer taste like?" he answered, "It tastes like horse piss." I could see the color of it and when I snuck a smell of the bottle, it seemed a fair assesment, though it didn't explain why my father drank it so much. 

Years later I've followed in my father's footsteps and flounder when trying to describe the taste of beer. If I withhold my knowledge of animal urine, the range of adjectives I'm left with is very limited. Which is why I was delighted to read "Wine tasting is bullshit. Here's why." 

"The human palate is arguably the weakest of the five traditional senses. This begs an important question regarding wine tasting: is it bullshit, or is it complete and utter bullshit?"

So called experts are ranking wines in fallacious ways, and ultimately advising everyone on what is "good" and what is not. The same must be true for beer! (I thought.) I awaited an expert to confirm this and almost immediately there was a(n attempt at a) confirmation from Erin Steen at Focus on Beer. In his in depth article he concluded:

"I don't reach any conclusions, I just talk a lot, and I also don't really care about answering that question. "

Thanks Eric! Buuuuut, I still care about answering the question. Is craft beer tasting exclusive? Do you need a super hero-like palate to truly enjoy and remark on craft beer or can anyone taste the rainbow? 

The answers: NO. No, and yes!

CRAFT BEER IS EVERYMAN. It's all inclusive. You only need look at the top beer review sites, beeradvocate and rate beer to know this. Bryan Roth sums it up.

"Ultimately, the beer review is an attempt to open things up for people. It’s about demystifying the idea that craft beer is fancy and you have to know something about it to really expand your palate and try all sorts of brews. Even more important – you don’t have to know a damned thing about craft beer to enjoy it. -  This is Why I'm Drunk"

Oliver Gray adds:

"Don’t be so caught up in what people expect from a review. If you want to write about the hop characteristics because that’s just your thing, go for it. If you want to write about a memory that this beer brought surging back to the front of your brain, by all means. If you’re like me, and you want to write a story based on the taste and appearance of the beer, don’t let anyone stop you. - Literature and Libation"

I can cull up a memory on a dime after one sip of a beer, but what if I also would like to discuss hop characteristics. How do I... how does that... what do hops taste like?

For hops AND memories, join me next week for Part II: Tasting what you taste when you taste a tasty beer.


Are you there, beer? It's me, Hayley.

What do moms want for Mother's Day?


I'm not sure. In lieu of offspring and in place of always a bouquet of Lilies, this year I'd love for a fantastic craft beer to be my Mother's Day present. BUT, unless it's Heineken my mom doesn't usually drink beer. Many moms don't drink beer at all and for a number of good reasons. They avoid carbs and yeast because getting older means quirkier digestion and easy weight gain. They don't like anything too strong tasting, for reasons Google can't seem to explain though I can verify through experience. 

That could all change this Mother's Day...

Take mom on a brewery tour! Take her! Take her! She shall see! (Green Eggs and Ham, you learned from that book!) You know the right thing to do. And The Pink Boots Society's president Teri Fahrendorf, has urged all brewpubs and packaging breweries to offer tours and beer samplings this coming Sunday, for Mother's Day. And for good reason...

"At one time, all beer was brewed by mothers in their homes for their family," Fahrendorf says. But the Industrial Revolution turned a household activity into a business, and brewing became stereotyped as a big-muscle, men-only job." - Washington Post


If there's no accessible brewery in your area, here's a couple of beers that you could bring in a lovely basket - with flowers - to a Mother's Day brunch that you prepared BECAUSE IT'S MOTHER'S DAY AND YOUCANCOOKFORONCEGODDAMNIT!

If your mom usually drinks:

1.WINE, go with a Sour or Saison.

Mom's LOVE wine. If this is your mom's drink of choice get her a beer with similar palate points. Like Goose Island Lolita, a Belgian style pale ale/sour and aged on raspberries and wine barrels. It has bright jammy fruit flavors and is crisp and refreshing. Or go for the Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire which would be a fantastic red wine replacement. Dark and smooth with hints of sweet plum, and cacao with just enough tartness to let you know it's a Saison.  

2. ROLLING ROCK (or similar), try a Session IPA or a light Hefeweizen.

Can't go wrong with Rogue's MoM which is a tasty light Hefeweizen that is brewed with rose petals. Or the Founder's All Day IPA which is not only a pretty 4.7% ABV but is deliciously malty enough to ease mom into the amazing world of craft IPAs.

3. HEINEKEN... ugh, I mean...

This is tough. I've gotten this question a handful of times at the bar I work at, "Do you have anything on tap that's like Heineken " No. There's nothing that's quite like it; it is in a category of terrible all it's own. If your mom has a particular enough taste that this is her beer of choice, I'd go all the way with a really nice IPA. The Stone Enjoy By 05.17.13 is FANTASTIC. Eleven different hops added at all points of the brew process. It's a veritable hop party in your mouth! 

Take the plunge. If she hates it, make it a joke and say "just kidding" and pull out a six pack of Heineken or some Black Box red wine that you've already chilled in the fridge. Works. Every. Time.


Jockey For Her

It's my beer in a box.


There are a lot of obvious fun things I've been introduced to as a beer blogger, first the shower beer, now the Jockey Box.

I saw my first JB at a recent event organized by my fellow lady. This one (below) was fancy and sleek, via SingleCut.


If you haven't figured it out yet, the Jockey Box is essentially portable taps that allow you to expertly dispense cold beer ANYWHERE. Classier than a straight keg tap, perfect for tailgating, picnics, or your bedroom.

Now, I know what you're thinking: I WANT ONE. Here's a couple of things you should know before you make your Jockey Box purchase.

50' or 120' coil - What length should you have in your Jockey Box?

The 50' is significantly cheaper, but it needs time to recover between pours and is meant to accomodate smaller events where beer is poured intermitently. If you are planning a large party or event where beer pouring is constant, go with the 120' coil.

Ice Ice Baby

Coils MUST be covered with CUBED ice at all times for proper beer flowage.

Be prepared!

Get yourself a tapping tool box so you will be prepared for any keg, coil or CO2 troubleshooting. And always have extra coils and hoses on hand.


If you're a beer lover of simple means and also handy with a drill, here's how you can make your own!

Intro to your box



If you're not so handy, there are also many places to purchase Jockey Box's online. Beverage Factory offered the lowest prices I could find for a JB with 120' coil, though they all hover around $600.00

Also, if you're a home brewer and want to add a little swag when pouring your beer at an event, Portable Bar Company makes custom Jockey Box Covers. Sample, for Ballast Point.


I hope you enjoy these boxes as much as I do. Until my next beer discovery...


Hoppy Easter!

Beer as blood of Christ and other religious drinking.


Okay, this is from a blog, but still:

"The original Aramaic text talks about "strong drink" and "lines of ale vats." ... When the Bible was translated, centuries after Jesus had ascended to the throne of heaven, "strong drink" was replaced by "wine." At the time, beer was considered the commoner's drink, while wine was considered an upscale beverage reserved for the elite. At the time of the translation, wine was savored during the fine meals by the culturally enlightened. Beer was swilled by ignorant peasants. Historical accuracy was sacrificed because ignorant peasants were not doing the translating." - Beer Church

So, Jesus most likely turned water to beer, drank beer at the last super and WE SHOULD be drinking beer at communion.

Fun Biblical beer references to share around the dinner table: Numbers 28:7-10Proverbs 31:6Isaiah 24:9.

Easter Beer History:

The Danes brew Påskeøl "Easter Beer," which is usually a 5-6% lager and Bock's are historically associated with Easter, Lent and Christmas. In fact, Doppelbocks, sometimes referred to as Fastenbier ("Lenten beer,") emerged in the late eighteenth century as a powerful lager variant of the old monastic strong beer, monks' "liquid bread" which they brewed for Lent. It would be enjoyed consumed only for religious purposes during the 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. It was the only thing they consumed during that time, because they were holy, and pure. The secular version of this sacred strong bier was called Bockbier.

But let's get back to the Danes, and when women ruled brewing:

"Denmark has a long history with the art of beer making that predates Christianity. It goes back to their own Norse mythology with the goddess Freya who by virtue of her domain being the goddess of harvest was also known as the goddess of beer. ... The role of the woman as brew master of the home continued until the Reformation when their role in brewing gradually began to fade as beer became less a byproduct of food production and more a commodity. This was primarily due to the influence of the church and advent of merchant class." - Water from the Vine

So remember, church = decline of women brewers.

All this history has made me thirsty. So, what beer shall I pair with my upcoming Easter Dinner?

I'm going to phone this one in and refer to the folks at The Good Pour as they put together a fabulous Easter Dinner Beer Pairing list which includes Evil Twin Brewing's "Ryan and the Beaster Bunny."

Also, homemade Peeps.

HOP-y Easter everyone!


Ugh... It's Saint Patrick's Day!

I don't need another excuse to drink, and you probably don't either.


I'm not Irish (and you're probably not either.) So, St. Patrick's Day. Why?

Because you're going to anyways...

I want to drink on St. Patty's, but I don't want to be a St. Fatty. What should I drink?

You're in luck! TIME found 7 low carb beers for you to drink this St. Patrick's Day. 

"...we consulted the experts for the best way to satisfy your thirst at the bar for under 200 calories a glass. According to Chris Swersey, the technical brewing projects coordinator at the Brewers Association who monitors beer and health for the Association, stouts are a good option. You might think they're high in calories because they're dark and full-flavored. "But beers in this style actually tend to be relatively lower in alcohol and carbohydrates than other craft styles, and therefore lower in calories," he says. - TIME

Surprisingly, they named 21st Amendment Bitter American as one of the beers! High five for craft beer!

Green beer is SOOO fun!

You just HAVE to be fancy and impress your friends/patrons. Fine. Just, please use natural dyes because artificial dyes SUCK.

"...synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody." said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson." - FOOD SAFETY NEWS


(I wish they would dye it red for easter.)

So, what beer pairs best with hating St. Patrick's Day?

I don't hate St. Patrick's Day. It's cute, and should maybe only be celebrated by children, like Halloween.  Hate or love, you want to celebrate the Irish, therefore, you should go for an Irish Stout. I hate to let my ladies down, but the best Irish Stout I've tasted is the classic Guinness Draught. BUT, I would love to try Three Floyd's Brewing Co.'s Barrel Aged Black Sun Stout.


Tasting Notes from Beer Advocate: "Follows the nose with boozy bourbon up front, some dark chocolate, and a light marshmallow. Lots of roasted malts. Finish is boozy bourbon and caramel." 

Sound's amazing, and it's from a local Chicago Brewery that made a recent foray into the film industry

This is kinda my dream. Having a family brewery, using the proceeds to fund film projects. Next time I go home, I'll have to make a trip to Chicago...oh, whoops! Got distracted. Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!


New Beer's Resolution

Hayley Kicks off the Brew Year with a Challenge


What type of beer do you hate?  Well, hate might be a strong word. What type of beer do you completely bipass every time you find yourself staring at a list?  For me it's sours, because, well, ish. Fortunately, there aren't a lot of sour ales out there to which I concluded, no one likes sours... 

But I was wrong. Sour ales are fascinating. The process of brewing sours is painstaking and risky with brewers waiting some three years for ales to develop before they know if they have a high quality sour or undrinkable garbage. The process is also dangerous. While some brewers allow for spontaneous fermentation -- allowing the pre-fermented beer to be exposed to wild yeast already in the air -- most add souring bacteria and Brettanomyces yeast. 

"...Brettanomyces can easily survive in low-nutrient environments — it doesn’t die easily, especially in wood. Working with Brettanomyces risks contaminating everything it contacts — barrels and work aprons, stainless steel tanks and batches of beer.

Russian River uses all four strains of Brettanomyces commercially available to brewers, even though the yeasts could destroy 90 percent of the brewery’s beers that aren’t supposed to be sour. To avoid cross-contamination, Mr. Cilurzo limits Brettanomyces brewing to a specific area and equipment. Brewers working in that space aren’t allowed to enter other parts of the brewery on the same day and are encouraged to wash their clothes after work." - NYT

Danger, uniqueness, history, passion, hate, love: everything I would want in a man beer if I was to choose based off of sheer description. 


Meredith hates German Lagers.  


They're boring and tasteless and bland and low alcohol and one note and run on sentences

Why should you give them a shot? 

Because they have a lot of history and serious beer drinkers like them. And I work at a museum that just dedicated an entire permanent exhibit to them.

There is not one type of beer that Khara hates.

I am astounded by this, as well as impressed. This is the reason for the New Beer's Resolution -- to begin the journey of opening one's palate to any and every variety; to achieve a of oneness with beer. If you have not yet reached this divine point, I challenge you as a serious lover of beer to begin this journey with me. I'll see you at the top.


Are you there, beer? It's me, Hayley.

What Beer Pairs Best With Thinking About Quitting Your Job?


You've had enough and you’ve got to decide right now. Is it worth it? The money, your time? You earn just enough to pay rent and eat, but you know there must be something better than feeling like you want to run every time you get within 10 feet of where you clock in. Don’t walk out just yet - think it over with one of these beers first.

Depending on your emotional exhaustion…

“If my boss says one more shitty thing to me…" - 21st Amendment Bitter American


A "tribute to unsung, unwitting heroes everywhere" this session ale is light, with mild bitterness, hints of citrus and is much easier to swallow than your current situation. Enjoy while you convince yourself to keep it together. Look, everyone hates being told to work harder when they are already working as hard as they can. Your boss is an AMAZING micro-manager. You are not. That’s why you do what you do and to be fair, you're lucky to have a way to bring money in the door. Life’s not so bad, just finish that beer and buy someone else one (karma). You’re going to be fine.

“I feel like less of a human being every time I go to work and have considered 'accidentally' injuring myself in order to go home early. Being on the street would be more fulfilling at this point. Seriously." - Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot


“A malty robust, jobless recovery ale,” that ”was brewed specifically to honor this dismal period in American history.”  Sit down, take your coat off, and escape for a moment into this beer. Smell it first and really take it in. Floral notes take you to a field far away with a hint of roasted malts that remind you of a simpler time in your life. It’s easy drinking, but rich and you can definitely (but lightly) taste that delicious chocolate. Take another sip. Breathe. Now open your eyes and awake to reality: you’re not actually able to enjoy this beer because it is most likely no longer available to you in bars/stores. You missed it. What else have you missed because you’re been stressing over this awful, awful job? Find another strong ale on tap, drink up and put in your two weeks tomorrow.

“I have to choose between keeping this job and surviving, OR doing something I love and starving." - Left Hand Milk Stout


It’s thick and chewy but lighter than Guinness. Chocolaty, silky with hints of coffee. A good thinking brew. And you’ve got a thinker on you. What should you do about your job/life? On one hand… but on the other… I don’t know. The above is what I ask myself Every. Damn. Day. And, I'm still ordering Milk Stouts and trying to figure it out... good luck.


A note for all you potential quitters out there, some places have awesome industry nights. If you’re in Brooklyn, check out Buschenschank Sunday and Monday nights with FREE pizza and amazing drink specials. I’m sure you know some too. Shout it out to your working class brothers and sisters! We need to help each other and we need all the help we can get.